More Than a Game: Missouri Football Team Boycott Leads to University President Resignation

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Solidarity speaks volumes.

After repeatedly trying to raise awareness and voicing concerns about not only racism but also sexist and homophobic issues that were becoming a major campus issue, Jonathan Butler took it to a level not many would. He went on a hunger strike strongly stating “either Tim Wolfe (Missouri President) is removed or my internal organs will fail and my life is lost.” 

….let that statement sink in.

Thanks to social media, news of the hunger strike quickly spread but what about the University of Missouri? What did they have to say, how would those in a position of power respond to his demands? They didn’t. That is when its football team stepped in making a bold statement by threatening to boycott its upcoming game against BYU. Originally it was only the black players that stepped forward but that wouldn’t last long as the TEAM showed it wins together, loses together and stands for something bigger than football together.

Only a few days after the football program made the announcement standing behind its players, the university president made an announcement that he would in fact be resigning. Missouri’s entire campus erupted this afternoon with joy after news spread and even “Swag Surfed” their way right onto ESPN.

So many variables make this story unforgettable and leave so much to learn from: taking place in Missouri only 14 months after Ferguson shows how much strength was transferred by showing incredible solidarity. The ugly unspoken fact of the university dragging their feet to make a decision until the football team threatened with a $1M fine and consistent economic loss from the tv broadcasts, sponsors, etc. had they not played against BYU. But, most importantly it is a story of true empowerment, a group raising their collective voice to force change for the greater good. Although Mizzou football team will get most of the credit for pushing them over the finish line, it all started with a simple letter from a student willing to risk his life to help protect other students from various forms of abuse.

Amazing Courage. “If a man has not discovered something he will die for, he is not fit to live”

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